Living your best life costs less than you think

February 9, 2023

For plan members, sponsors and administrators

Share this “Wellness on a Budget” series of articles with your plan members. We can’t control the economy or the rising cost of living, but there are ways to maintain health, wellness, and nutrition during tough economic times.

Have you ever scrolled through social media and thought to yourself, “wow, I want to live like that”? Then you remember you’re looking at a celebrity and they’re in the business of looking rich, famous, and carefree.

That’s not reality for most of us.

But don’t despair! There are lots of things you can do to live your best life in the real world. And the good news, it can cost less than you think.

Here are some ideas:

1. Take care of yourself

This is so important. Being mindful of your health means getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well. Sure, sleep is free, but there are ways to stay in shape and eat well without spending a fortune. Read these articles to learn more:

Pro tip from Manulife Wellness expert, Maarika Arget, Senior Consultant – Workplace Well-being:
Check your workplace benefits plans. Your group plan may cover all or part of the cost of wellness services and related health-providers.

Taking care of yourself also includes making sure you’re making good financial decisions. Your financial health affects not only how you feel, but also your productivity at work and home. For helpful tips on the topic of financial wellness, visit our plan and learn webpage.

Pro tip from Manulife Wellness expert, Maarika Arget, Senior Consultant – Workplace Well-being:
Take advantage of your Group Savings Plan. Check to see if your employer matches your contributions. If so, that’s extra money that can go a long way to helping you be in financial shape. Ask if your workplace savings program offers financial advice and counselling to help you make good decisions and create a budget or a long-term financial plan.

2. Try new experiences

Some days feel like déjà vu. This is especially true since the pandemic started when we were stuck at home doing the same routine over and over again. If you’re itching to do something different, there are so many opportunities in your own community, sometimes for free or very little cost.

  • Explore your community. Whether by foot, bike, or transit, check out a new neighbourhood or even a different city. If you need a bike, many cities now offer bikeshare options. For just a few dollars, you can rent a bike for a period of time. 
  • If you’re in a new city, also take advantage of its free events. The bigger the city, the more events they’re likely to have. And museums and galleries may offer free admission on certain days.
  • Go to the library. It’s not just a place to get books. Many libraries offer programs and events for free. Many also have movies and games to borrow.
  • Take a cooking class. Check your local grocery store. Some offer cooking classes, and sometimes just for the cost of your ingredients.
  • Visit your community centre. Most cities and towns have a community centre that offers programs and classes. Check your community centre to see what’s free or costs very little. It’s a great way to learn a new language, take dance classes or unleash your inner artist.
  • Go online. Sure, it can sometimes be hard to navigate, but you can find free virtual museum tours, free articles to read, free videos to watch, and more.

Living your best life doesn’t have to break the bank! It’s all about taking care of yourself and trying new experiences.

Pro tip from Manulife Wellness expert, Maarika Arget, Senior Consultant – Workplace Well-being:
Not sure how to start? Challenge yourself: commit to one new experience a month.